Record £55m sales predicted for London's West End on Boxing Day
With stores launching their annual sales, footfall on last year’s Boxing Day reached 970,000, which was over 200,000 more than on Christmas Eve. The increase was boosted by shoppers coming from across the world.
Due to a sustained increase in spend from international shoppers after the Brexit vote, West End retailers are expecting their best day of trading this season.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, said: “Boxing Day always delivers for the West End but this year promises to be especially strong for retailers as visitors from around the globe make the most of the amazing deals available from our world-class mix of retailers combined with the relative value of the weak pound.
“It is becoming increasingly popular as a shopping day as customers become savvier, more price sensitive and better at pre-researching purchases. We expect a significantly higher number of Chinese tourists to come over specifically to bargain hunt.”
Last week, payment solution provider Premier Tax Free recorded a 10% rise in total sales for the same period in 2015. This was driven by a 37.4% growth in European spend and a 219% increase in Chinese spend.
While the total number of transactions processed across the West End last week were down by 14.1%, the average basket value increased by 28%. The currency effect meant that the average value of a Chinese shopper’s purchase was nearly five times higher than that of a domestic shopper, at £1,073.
According to data from Springboard, year-on-year footfall across the West End also increased by 5.9% last week. Bond Street and Regent Street experienced the strongest growth, with footfall increasing by 10% and 9% respectively. Footfall in Oxford Street edged up 3%. Visits to the London Luxury Quarter were up 14.7%.
Adam Kelly, director of buying and merchandising for Fenwick of Bond Street, said: “Fenwick of Bond Street is having a very positive Christmas season. Much of this is attributed to both the increase in international visitors and the domestic customers that are staying in the city for the holidays. We have seen sales climb 16% across the month of December and we anticipate that this will continue onto a very strong Boxing Day.”
Looking ahead, Tyrell said: “Whilst Christmas and the latter stages of this year have been extremely positive for the West End, a number of issues, such as steep increases in business rates and continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit, will create a challenging business environment for retailers next year.”
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